Comfort Food Classics: Macaroni and Cheese #ThrowbackThursday

Irresistible homemade Macaroni and Cheese made with American cheese, butter, and Mexican crema.

Easy Macaroni & Cheese recipe -

I have a confession to make.  When Hope was two years old, I introduced her to a new food, that quickly became her favorite...Macaroni and Cheese.  But not just any macaroni and cheese, it was the kind that comes in a blue box.  She loved it!  And every time we went to the grocery store, she would spot the blue box and scream "Mac-Cheese".  Whenever I wasn't sure of what to make her for lunch or dinner, she would say "Mac-Cheese!"  She was crazy about the stuff.

Fast forward to almost a year later, when we moved to Mexico.  Sure, Hope liked the food that my suegra prepared for her, but she still wanted her mac & cheese. This being a small town, far from the big city and large grocery stores, the stuff in the blue box was no where to be found. I did buy a few boxes of the different Mexican brands, but none of them came close to the yummy goodness of the stuff in the blue box.

Stovetop macaroni and cheese recipe -

Then began my desperate search for the perfect homemade version.  Some were baked.  Some had a bechamel sauce base.  But still, I hadn't found a recipe that was pleasing to my little girl's taste buds.

Finally, one day, I really didn't feel like making yet another bechamel sauce, so I decided to use a few shortcuts.  I cooked my macaroni according to package directions.  Then in a separate bowl,  I melted a little bit of butter, added some Mexican crema, a splash of milk, and oodles of good ol' American cheese.  To finish it off, I seasoned it with salt, pepper, and paprika before presenting it to my princess, Hope.   

I waited with bated breath as she tasted this easy stovetop macaroni and cheese.

She turned to me with a very serious look, then flashed me the biggest smile and said, "Mommy, this is the BEST mac & cheese EVER!" And I've made it the same way ever since.

Coditos con Queso -

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Macaroni & Cheese

Irresistible homemade Macaroni and Cheese made with American cheese, butter, and Mexican crema.
prep time: 10 MINScook time: 20 MINStotal time: 30 mins


  • 8 oz. elbow macaroni pasta 
  • 4 tablespoons butter 
  • 3/4 cup Mexican crema 
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 8 oz. American cheese slices 
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 


  1. Cook macaroni pasta according to package directions; drain and rinse with with cold water.
  2. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in Mexican crema, milk, and American cheese slices. Stir with a wire whisk until cheese has melted completely. Season with paprika, ground black pepper, and salt to taste. 
  3. Add the cooked macaroni, stirring gently until completely pasta is completely coated with the cheese sauce. Simmer over low heat until heated through. Remove from heat. Buen provecho! 
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Comfort Food Classics: Arroz con Leche (Mexican Rice Pudding)

Arroz con Leche is the ultimate in Mexican comfort food. Creamy and delicious with a hint of cinnamon, this Mexican rice pudding is a warm and comforting hug in a mug.

How to Make Mexican Arroz con Leche -

Classic Mexican Arroz con Leche 

Arroz con Leche is another of those traditional Mexican dishes that takes me back to my childhood. I don't think there was a week that Pappy didn't whip up a huge olla (pot) of Arroz con Leche. Pappy was of the belief that Arroz con Leche was the caldo de pollo (chicken soup) of desserts, in that it could cure just about anything. And he was always looking for an excuse to make this creamy deliciousness: birthdays, rainy days, holidays, Tuesdays, sick days, and any day ending in the letters "s" or "o". (The days of the week in Spanish end in either "s" or "o": lunes, martes, miércoles, jueves, viernes, sábado y domingo.)

How to Make Traditional Mexican Arroz con Leche 

Every family has their own unique recipe for Arroz con Leche. Today I'm sharing the classic version, made with just rice, water, milk, cinnamon, sugar, and raisins, if you like them. There are other versions of Arroz con Leche that also include sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk, which I'll be sharing soon, but today it's all about the traditional arroz con leche like our abuelitos (grandparents) and favorite tías (aunts) used to make. 

Traditional Mexican Arroz con Leche recipe -

Yield: 8 servings

Arroz con Leche

Arroz con Leche is the ultimate in Mexican comfort food. Creamy and delicious, this Mexican rice pudding is a warm and comforting hug in a mug.+-w
prep time: 5 MINScook time: 60 MINStotal time: 65 mins


  • 1 cup long-grain rice 
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 (3-inch cinnamon stick) 
  • 4 cups whole milk 
  • 1/2 to 1 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1 cup raisins or dried cranberries (optional) 
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch (optional) 
  • 3 tablespoons whole milk (optional) 


  1. Bring rice, water, salt, and cinnamon to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Cover and reduce heat to low; let simmer for 12 to 15 minutes until the rice is cooked through and almost all of the water has evaporated. (That starchy water that remains after the rice is cooked through is what is going to help make our arroz con leche extra creamy.) 
  2. Stir in the 4 cups of milk. Cover, leaving lid slightly ajar; let simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until milk comes to a boil.
  3. Sweeten with granulated sugar to taste. If adding raisins or dried cranberries, stir them in with the granulated sugar. Cover, leaving lid slightly ajar (to preven milk from spilling over); let simmer for an additional 15 to 20 minutes until rice mixture is thick and creamy. 
  4. Remove from heat. Let cool slightly. Serve warm or let cool completely and refrigerate until ready to serve. Spoon rice pudding into bowl or coffee mugs. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon. Buen provecho! 
  1. To help thicken your arroz con leche, mash the rice lightly with a potato masher.
  2. If your arroz con leche is still not creamy enough for your taste, dissolve the cornstarch in the cold milk. Stir into the rice pudding, and let simmer until desired thickness. 
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